(MONEY.CNN) — Imagine hackers stealing top secret files from a military base. Except they don't need the Internet to pull data out of the facility's computers. Instead, they can just infect an office printer and -- with software alone -- turn it into a radio.
This sounds like sci-fi, but it's now possible. Security researchers at a Manhattan startup have discovered how to make any modern device -- printer, washing machine, air conditioner -- broadcast invisible, inaudible signals for miles.
That's a game changer -- and a huge step forward for hackers.
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The rapidly expanding $77 billion cybersecurity industry is all about guarding computer networks. Companies and governments buy products to stay protected. But they keep running out of effective defensive options.